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  • Hugh Davies

Electronic instrument manufactured by Suzuki in Hamamatsu, Japan, from 1981. It resembles a zither or autoharp, both visually and in playing technique. The instrument offers 27 chords, selected by pushbuttons that are ‘strummed’ in arpeggiated form on a touch-plate. It also incorporates ‘walking bass’ and electronic percussion units. In 1983 Suzuki developed the Tronichord, based on the Omnichord, in which the push-buttons are replaced by touch-plate sensors.

In 2001 a third, digitally updated version was introduced called the Qchord, with MIDI interface. The Omnichord has developed a cult following and has been used in performance and recordings by some prominent musicians.